Joonas Kokkonen (1921-1996) is considered "Finland's most significant composer after Sibelius" (American Record Guide). However, he still awaits discovery among many lovers of accessible contemporary music. Sakari Oramo and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, unrivaled champions of Finnish late 20th-century music, have taken up this task with a complete Kokkonen symphonies cycle. The first volume (Symphonies 3 & 4, coupled with Cello Concerto) has been unanimously hailed by the press as a "must-have disc" (Fanfare magazine). On this new release, they perform the first two symphonies, coupled with Opus sonorum for orchestra. Written in the years following Sibelius's death in 1957, these masterpieces reveal Kokkonen's affinity with the music of J. S. Bach andhis full exploration of expressive tonal colors (Opus sonorum--"work of sounds").